JOHN GLEDHILL, Anthropologist/UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER//In recent weeks I have participated in two academic events dominated by bleak appraisals of the conduct of government by Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. Participants not only offered strong critiques of the negative social, political, geopolitical, and environmental implications of the government’s actions to date and plans for the future, but also expressed considerable concern about the sheer ineptitude of the President and the nature of his ministerial team, which combines a number former soldiers without precedent since the return of democracy with civilian figures whose ideological postures have already created disquiet, not only in Brazil but in Europe as well.
SAO PAULO/BRASILIA, Jan 2 (Reuters) – New Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro issued an executive order on Wednesday making the Agriculture Ministry responsible for deciding on lands claimed by indigenous peoples, in a victory for agribusiness that will likely enrage environmentalists.
The temporary decree, which will expire unless it is ratified within 120 days by Congress, strips power over land claim decisions from indigenous affairs agency FUNAI.
It hands it to the Agriculture Ministry, which will now be responsible for “identification, delimitation, demarcation and registration of lands traditionally occupied by indigenous people.”
The move is likely to stoke concern among environmentalists and rights groups that the far-right new president, who took office on Tuesday, will open up the vast Amazon rainforest and other ecologically sensitive areas of Brazil to greater commercial exploitation.